Dear Dumbs: Marrying Mother Dearest

Dear Dumbs:

I love advice columns. I read Dear Abby on a regular basis. I have to tell ya, Dear Dumbs is my favorite. Funny and honest. I love it and I love you.

The latest Dear Abby really hit home for me because I’m going through the exact same thing. Her advice was helpful but I’m coming to you for a second opinion.

My boyfriend of seven years wants to get married. I don’t want to because of something his mother did to me many years ago. Here’s the bullet points. 

I’ve been friends with the family for a long time. I was dating a guy who was in our (quite large) inner circle. She thought I was cheating on him and decided to have an “intervention” with me. She and another friend showed up at my house to tell me to stop seeing him. All of this took me by surprise because it was so untrue. This woman told everybody we knew that I was unfaithful and a whore. 

It was a pretty big deal. So unfair. So untrue and so uncalled for. It was quite the scene with me kicking her out of my house. After she did more research she realized that she was 100% wrong and called me and apologized. The apology came almost two years after she verbally assaulted me. 

Should I finally let this go? I don’t think I could ever trust her again. She’s a gossip and sticks her nose into places she’s not welcome.

I’m happy she apologized. But I’m still hurt over the way it went down.

T.L. in FL


TERRY: There’s nothing I hate more than people who gossip. It gives me great joy to see that it really blew up in her bitter little face.

SHARI: Yeah, T.L., she sounds like an awful person. I’d like to remind you though that you’re not marrying her, you’re marrying her son. I don’t know how often you’d have to see your mother-in-law, but maybe you could make a condition of your marriage that you don’t see much of her (or at all).

TERRY: Really Shari? Do I have an out?

SHARI: As long as I do!

TERRY: Well it looks like my problem is solved. Let’s help T.L., Shari is right. I don’t think I have a very good relationship with my mother-in-law. In fact, as time goes on it’s actually gotten worse. I wish it was better, but apparently I’m the guy who moved Shari away from her. I’ve made peace with it. Even though I hate the saying, it is what it is. I think that her being difficult has actually made our relationship stronger.

SHARI: Agreed.

TERRY: The good news is that she knows what she did and it’s already been addressed. The weirdness is over. I know your possible future husband would love it if you forgave her. Forgiving her is for you not her. I think you have to do it so it doesn’t keep chewing you up. Here’s the most important part. Forgiveness doesn’t mean forgetting. We all know that if you guys breakup she will throw you under a bus real quick. Keep her at an arms length. Don’t confide in her. Just be respectful when you choose to be around her.

SHARI: Good advice, Terry. Definitely don’t trust her!

TERRY:  So let’s recap. Forgive but never forget. You see her on your terms. Got it? Trust me, this works. I have a little experience with this one. All the best T.L. and only get married if you’re one billion percent ready.